It has become very fashionable for potential suppliers to approach your financial institution with the message, “We’d like to partner with you for [this or that].” It sounds really good as an alternative to “We’d really like to sell you stuff,” but often, when the term ‘partner’ is used in this context, it loses its meaning quickly. How can you know if your current vendors are really ‘partners’ or, equally important, whether a potential new vendor measures up?
Recently, Cornerstone Advisors published an article entitled, Is Your Vendor a Partner? Ask these 10 Questions to Find Out. The net of this is that you should be looking toward the value in a vendor relationship, and that value can be measured by evaluating the responses to the 10 questions cited below.
“How can you measure whether or not you have [a] partnership with your vendor? Here are 10 specific questions we at Cornerstone think need to be asked and answered.
- Is my vendor doing research for me or am I doing it for them?
- Is my vendor managing interfaces, integration with other vendors or am I?
- Is my vendor approaching me to understand my unique needs or am I having to approach them?
- Is my vendor worried about how I best spend my money with them or am I on my own with that?
- Is my vendor updating me about project delays and scope reductions or do I get to discover these by myself late in the process?
- Who escalates a problem or issue: my account rep or me?
- Has your vendor ever told you how you could be a better customer?
- Does anybody know whether you are getting the maximum ROI from your systems?
- Who talks about and shares the “great” customer experience?
- If you are not on your vendor’s flagship product, have they talked to you about the roadmap to get there?” i
Of course the full article goes into more detail regarding the rationale for each question. You can access the entire article on GonzoBanker.com here.
While these questions address the matter of evaluating your existing vendor relationships to see if they qualify as a ‘partnering’ relationship, these same questions can and should be asked when pursuing a new potential relationship with a new vendor or supplier. Just asking a potential vendor what they believe makes for a good partnering relationship followed by a simple rephrasing of the 10 questions above should give you a clear picture!
Why Partner with Glory?
Glory Global Solutions is the clear North American leader in branch cash automation solutions, and this has been the case for many years. Our business model includes an embedded, flexible “partnering” framework. Typically, we can provide affirmative and compelling responses to all of the partnering questions contemplated above.
Others have attempted to emulate our business model and value proposition with very limited success. Our value proposition, it turns out, is very hard to match! It includes state of the art hardware, powered by robust software, utilizing well-crafted integrations, supported by a legion of engineers, product experts, business consultants, connectivity specialists, project managers, professional trainers, installation coordinators and service resources that are second to none!
Process is Paramount
All this is offered through a consistent, understandable and proven 4-step partnering process: Discover, Design, Deploy, and Deliver. Our process ensures that the solution we recommend will meet and exceed our customer’s expectations for performance and ROI. Each functional aspect that supports the 4-step process as mentioned above involves a person or persons specifically trained and experienced in their assigned role. The success of our process depends on this team of specialists working in concert on your behalf, rather than one or a few individuals trying to perform efficiently in multiple roles and doing so ineffectively.
The initial Discover step involves fact-finding about current cash-handling processes and challenges as well as other branch initiatives. The Design step follows. In this step Glory develops a complete best-fit solution for your unique environment utilizing our vast portfolio of products and services and a business case including ROI and process improvement expectations. Once the solution is designed, a complete plan is crafted to properly Deploy the solution including agreed process improvements and industry best practices. Along with this is an emphasis on facilitating change management while also minimizing disruption to branch operations.
Finally in Glory’s process, is the term Deliver. The word Deliver as we intend it is not an event that happens when a product arrives at your location. Our Deliver step is our commitment to your long-term success. It is GGS’ commitment to delivering the ROI and outcomes anticipated along with outstanding service and support for the long-haul.
At Glory Global Solutions, partnering is the ‘rule’ rather than the ‘exception.’ In short, Glory would like to put our market leading resources and processes to work for you in a true partnership experience for mission critical cash automation in your branches!
Postscript: It Cuts Both Ways
While this blog is mostly about your ability to determine the extent to which your vendors, or potential vendors, are able to pass the ‘partnering’ test, it is worthy of mention that partnering with a vendor is a two-way proposition! This was stated nicely in a recent Crowe Horwath article entitled Beyond Cost Cutting: Six Strategies for Improving Banks’ Operating Efficiency, the author puts-forth the following amongst the aforementioned strategies: “Improved vendor management does not mean simply pressuring vendors to lower their prices. Rather, it is a focused effort designed to derive the greatest possible value from a vendor relationship.” ii
Robert Allexon is an Independent Business Analyst and Consultant. His career spans five decades in technology-based durable goods sales and marketing and he is an expert in cash automation.
iGonzo Banker, Is Your Vendor a Partner? Ask These 10 Questions to Find Out, Terence Roche, Cornerstone Advisors, September 9, 2016. http://www.gonzobanker.com/2016/09/is-your-vendor-a-partner/
iiCrowe Horwath Banking Performance Insights, Beyond Cost Cutting: Six Strategies for Improving Banks’ Operating Efficiency, Timothy Reimink, July 9, 2015, Pg.5, http://www.crowehorwath.com/insights/banking-performance/cost-cutting-six-strategies.aspx